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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

East Ocean, Haymarket

I've posted on East Ocean's yum cha before, but it's been aaages since I've eaten dinner here--until tonight.

The restaurant was healthily busy for a Tuesday night and festooned with Chinese New Year lanterns and firecrackers.

This was a ten-person gathering so there were plenty of dishes to photograph. It was a bit of an event so we ordered fish and crab live from the tank (presented to us in plastic bags with their weight on stickers before they met the chef's cleaver).

Complimentary house soup (pork and vegetables)

Special fried rice with king prawns $18.80

Pork spare ribs with pineapple $18.80

Mud crab (live from the tank) with vermicelli noodles

Crispy skin chicken topped with dry garlic $18.80
(double portion pictured)

Steamed minced prawns with broccoli $18.80

7-star rock cod (from the tank) steamed with ginger and shallots.
I believe this baby cost about $130.00

Sago pudding (must be pre-ordered)

Complimentary red bean soup

Overall I have to say the food wasn't as good as I remembered. Admittedly there were a couple of dishes ordered which we don't normally have, but old favourites like the crispy skin chicken was a little undercrispy and a little oversalted for our liking.

The fish and the prawns were also disappointingly lacking in natural flavour. Especially since we paid top dollar for the fish.

Service was a little lax with serving spoons forgotten with dishes. One suspects we have to work our way up the VIP customer service ranking again!

This is still probably one of the better restaurants in Chinatown. Just not as stellar as I remembered.

East Ocean
Entry either from
421-429 Sussex St or
86-88 Dixon St, Haymarket, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9212 4198

Related GrabYourFork posts:
East Ocean dinner, April 2006
East Ocean yum cha, August 2005
East Ocean yum cha, October 2004
7 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 2/15/2005 11:59:00 pm


  • At 2/19/2005 11:45 pm, Blogger OsloFoodie said…

    Hi AugustusG., I am curious about the sago pudding, what did it taste like, what made it so yellow, did you like it?

  • At 2/20/2005 7:10 am, Blogger Ms One Boobie said…

    I gasped.. when i saw that the cod cost A$130.00..! I've been to East Ocean numerous times.. when i was living in Sydney.. but never had a fish this expensive..! It's too bad.. that the food wasn't up to standard.. such a disappointment.. :(

  • At 2/20/2005 1:06 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi OsloFoodie - Sorry I should have explained this dish.

    Sago pearls are cooked until clear then strained. You then make a coconut custard with coconut milk, custard powder, eggs and brown sugar. Add sago and bake for about 1.5-2hrs.

    Lately in Sydney they've started adding tablespoons of peanut sauce to the mixture (which I could do without).

    It tastes custardy and coconutty and is usually too rich and sweet to have more than a small serving. This one wasn't as eggy as I like.

    And the best part of course is the caramelised top!

    Hi MrsT - Yeah we were convinced to have the more expensive fish. So yes I was particularly disappointed.

    The sauce was yummy though. I love it drizzled over my rice!

  • At 2/21/2005 6:48 pm, Blogger pinkcocoa said…

    Weird as it seems but I have never actually have dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Sydney before (except for the time when my parents visited).

    East Oceans seem to be quite reputable, at least for its yumcha. Shame that the food wasn't up to standard for dinner. And oh my gosh, A$130 for a steamed cod? But then again it is rock cod, much adored by Chinese for the silky flesh!

  • At 2/22/2005 10:22 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi pinkcocoa - Usually we have found East Ocean to have good food in the past, but for some reason it didn't seem up to scratch tonite.

    I agree. Rock cod should taste sensational with sweet delicate flesh. Alas. 'Twas not to be.

  • At 2/28/2005 3:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hey Augustus..just wondering if East Ocean actually has a menu that has honey chicken or special fried rice on it?? im going there saturday nite and all these dishes u mentioned ive never heard of..also is this place BYO? thanks

  • At 2/28/2005 9:12 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Crystal - East Ocean tends to cook more traditional Chinese food. I don't think they have honey chicken but I think they have lemon chicken.

    They do have all types of fried rice.

    I think they do BYO but best to ring them and check. The phone number is listed above in the original posting. They should also be able to help you with any menu enquiries.

    Don't be afraid to try something new though. You never know, you might discover a new favourite!


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